Over the last three years I've planted about 50 fruit trees in the middle of a hay field. I don't live on the farm yet, (maybe next year) so I have trouble taking care of them properly. The local forestry agent said the thick fescue was killing them (along with the deer) and slowing their growth. He suggested I put a stove pipe around the tree and spray roundup on the fescue in about a 3 ft. circle which I did last week. I also used some fertilizer stakes. If I didn't kill the rest of them, I wonder if I should consider using some mulch? I think I have about 25 left, but they sure haven't grown much.